Smart Plug Outlets for Seasonal Devices (e.g., space heaters & portable AC units)

I was wondering how the Sense community members deal with smart plugs that are attached to seasonal devices like heaters and air conditioning units…

I was tempted to just reuse the same smart plug for both my heaters and my air conditioning devices, but was concerned about mixing my cooling and heating energy consumption and cost stats…

At this point, I am thinking about just leaving the smart plug unplugged when these devices are not in use (and just keep them plugged in and attached to the device itself)… That way, I can properly segregate my portable heating and cooling data…

Not exactly the most efficient way to use my smart plugs though…

Thoughts? What do you do in these cases?

What type of AC/Heaters are you talking about? A large portion of us have hard wired AC/Heat units where a plug is not possible.

Also, be aware that those plugs are only rated for 15amps.

Sense does a good job at natively detecting most AC/Heat units so that you don’t have to put a monitor on them. There’s also an accessory clamp that you could use if your unit has a dedicated circuit.

Yeah… I am specifically talking about my portable 1500W space heaters, and my portable Sharp AC unit on rolling wheels…

I don’t think there is a “standard” solution for this question. Whenever you change what is plugged into a smart plug, it is possible to tell Sense via the What’s Plugged In field. They actually appreciate this as it helps their data science team to build new models, but there is no direct benefit to the user once that data is updated. That is, your usage history from the smart plug stays with the smart plug, even if you tell it there is something new plugged in.

Personally, I like to keep my history in Excel using data export. Then whenever I change what is plugged in, I just start a new column in Excel for the new data. I realize that this is less than optimum as it requires significant user intervention to export the data and to organize it in Excel. The reason that I share this because you asked what other people do, not because I recommend doing it my way. I would be interested in a better solution if anyone has one.

Thanks @jefflayman

I also use Excel heavily to track stuff like this…but if I can get the same results without creating yet another Excel spreadsheet in my archives that I have to manually update and maintain, I am going to favor it… :slight_smile:

That said, my plan is to just dedicate the smart plug to a single use. I have a KP115 on my Sharp Portable AC, and was originally going to yank it at the end of the cooling season, and move it to use with my space heater…

But instead, I went on Amazon and bought some more KP115 smart plugs, and I will likely just dedicate two of them to my two space heaters and call it done…

I will have a single “roaming” smart plug for temporary consumption monitoring that I can move from device to device… But heating and cooling is such a standard use case, that I want to ensure the data stays with the plug and the trending is device (or use case) specific…

Unless there are other options to do what I am attempting to do… :slight_smile:

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Just be careful using those plugs with that amount of power. Watch them closely at first. Of course not everyone’s experience is the same, but if it were I, I sure would watch them for a while.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R32WLS605AQY6J/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B08LN3C7WK

For what it’s worth, at my old apartment I had a space heater that I only used in the Winter. At the end of winter/beginning of spring, I exported my data to a google sheet. My goal was to hold onto the information so i could reallocate the plug to my window AC.

I made the call that I was comfortable with losing the data attached to the space heater, as long as i could use the export to determine if my space heater was running more frequently over the winter/any given month.

With some pretty easy Google Sheets formulas, you can set-up a view to see if your monthly / weekly / daily use is above your previous year / month / day or overall average. It really depends on how comfortable you are with not having consistent historical data attached to the smart plug device.